Google is planning a major revamping of its search engine, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal. Google needs to stay ahead of Bing and find new revenue.
is planning a radical upgrade of its search engine in the coming months,
according to a new report in The
Wall Street Journal
March 14 report suggested that, once the changes are complete, Google will
offer more facts and direct answers at the top of the search-results page in
addition to the usual blue hyperlinks to relevant Websites. It will filter
search queries through a massive database of people and objects, and rely
heavily on semantic search, or the process of understanding the actual meaning
Journal relied on Amit Singhal, Googles head search executive, for the
information. Some of the proposed changes sound reminiscent of Wolfram Alpha, a
search engine that offers a definitive set of answers (usually numerical) in
place of a page of Web links. For example, type the term James Dean into
Wolfram Alpha, and you receive data on the iconic actors birthdate and
death-date, place of birth, and so on; do the same in Google, and your screen
is flooded with a variety of Website links, images and news items.
the time Wolfram Alpha entered the market in 2009, Google introduced Google
Squared, a search application available through Google Labs that took
unstructured information and organized it into a customized table, with
detailed information inserted into specific categories. Google ended up killing
that experiment in 2011, as part of its larger efforts to consolidate the
companys strategic aspects. However, it seems as if the idea of presenting the
searcher with structured information hasnt been discarded entirely.
Google continues to dominate the traditional search realm, it faces a not-insignificant
challenge from Microsofts Bing. According to research firm comScore, Googles
share of the U.S. search market blipped upward from 66.3 percent in January to
66.4 percent in February. For the same period, Microsofts share rose from 15.2
percent to 15.3 percent, while Yahoos declined from 14.1 percent to 13.8
under the terms of a 10-year agreement signed in the summer of 2009,
Microsofts Bing powers Yahoos back-end search, while Yahoo acts as the
exclusive worldwide relationship sales force for both companies search
advertisers. Essentially, that folds Yahoos search-engine share into that of
Microsofts, bringing the latters percentage of the market to 29.1
Bing has managed to endure in the marketplace, its at least partially due to Microsofts
decision to focus less on broad keyword searchGoogles area of expertiseand
more on specific verticals such as Shopping and Entertainment.
as search evolves, the pressure grows on Google to both stay ahead of its
competitors and ferret out new sources of ad revenue. Its upcoming changes
could be the search-engine giants way of doing both.
Nicholas Kolakowski on Twitter